One hugely talented sibling does not always guarantee the arrival of another, though often the genes give hope that little brother or sister will come close.
Denman was one of the greatest chasers of the modern era. Staggering performances in winning the Hennessy twice off top weight were matched by a stunning success in the Gold Cup at Cheltenham. His record at the highest level was simply sensational. He was a beast of a horse, rightly adored by National Hunt fans.
Silverburn was his talented full-brother. Also trained by Paul Nicholls, he won a Tolworth Hurdle as a novice but never reached the same heights over fences, eventually being transferred to Evan Williams before attaining limited success as a hunter chaser.
Frankel and Noble Mission were another great equine example. The former is recognised as one of the all-time greats, whilst the latter, though never reaching the heights of big brother, was still a hugely talented colt capable of winning the Group 1 Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Over the past few weeks we have been introduced to several more ‘brothers in arms’ who look more than capable of making a serious impact during the winter jumps season that lies ahead.
Charlie Longsdon is once again fast out of the traps with the latest campaign still in its infancy. The Cotswolds trainer is currently running at a 25% strike rate and had winners at Chepstow and Warwick yesterday. Chances are that he is still on a high after an exceptional weekend which yielded major wins at Wetherby and Ascot. Pendra finally got his act together over fences to win the Sodexo Gold Cup, while in Yorkshire Kilcooley romped to victory in the West Yorkshire Hurdle.
It’s the latter who holds our attention for today’s piece. The six-year-old is a son of Stowaway out of an Irish mare called Bealaha Essie. There is a strong staying influence in the pedigree on the dam’s side provided by a terrific jumps sire Roselier. Kilcooley clearly appreciated a step up in trip at the weekend and looks set to have a hugely successful winter.
Just a couple of days earlier at Stratford his younger brother Ballydine, also trained by Longsdon, ran out an impressive winner in a stayers maiden hurdle. Ridden by Richard Johnson, the strapping chestnut gelding appreciated the testing conditions, galloping to an eye-catching 10 length success. Slightly larger than his talented sibling, he looks every inch a chaser in the making.
Yesterday at Chepstow we were introduced to another gelding that looks to have a bright future. Bun Doran is a four-year-old trained by Tom George. The son of Shantou is out of the King’s Theatre mare Village Queen. A winning pointer, he was an expensive purchase and looked impressive winning this competitive bumper. A scopey type, he travelled beautifully throughout and should prove exciting when sent over hurdles.
His performance came just a few weeks after his older sibling Shantou Village had run out a stunning winner of a novice hurdle at Carlisle. Neil Mulholland’s five-year-old looked something special when cruising to a 20 length success on his hurdling debut. He’s set to step up in class with an outing at Cheltenham in just over a week’s time. His wins have come on a sound surface, but it’s likely he’ll have little trouble coping with more testing conditions.
Pedigree is obviously a key component to success and in this pair of siblings there’s every chance that a potent mix of genes has produced a number of potentially high class racehorses. Messrs Longsdon, Mulholland and George will certainly hope so.